Though fiscal cliff legislation has grabbed most headlines recently, an energy efficiency bill also went into law during the latter part of last month. The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (HR 6582) largely fixed technical issues with some prior lighting, water heater, refrigeration, and electric motor energy efficiency regulations.
For example, the new bill excludes covered water heaters from some regulations if they don't have a residential use and can be rated using thermal efficiency and standby loss descriptors. Other provisions of the bill apply to the energy used by service over the counter, self-contained medium temperature commercial refrigerators.
The bill also contains clarifications for through-the-wall central a/c units and through-the-wall a/c heat pumps, and small duct, high velocity systems. It spelled out what equipment these terms, in fact, refer to and gives minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratios for small-duct high-velocity systems.
Besides these rules, the Bill also tells the DOE to develop and issue an annual best-practices report on advanced metering of energy use in federal facilities. It also establishes collaborative research and development partnerships with other programs to support the use of innovative manufacturing processes and to support applied research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of new technologies and processes to improve industrial efficiency.
Finally, it calls for a study, in conjunction with the industrial sector, of the barriers to deployment of industrial efficiency technologies.
You can read the text of the 34-page Bill here: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20121203/BILLS-112hr6582-SUS.pdf